Deciphering Michael Douglas' Epic Emmys Speech, From His Estranged Wife Thanks to Incarcerated Son Shout-Out

Douglas gave one of the most memorable -- and certainly most revealing -- thank-yous of the night

Michael Douglas knows how to leave an audience wanting more! The 68-year-old actor picked up an Emmy last night for his incredible performance as pianist Liberace in the HBO drama Behind the Candelabra. Though his speech went over the time limit, it left everyone with lots of questions -- like, what does it mean that he thanked his estranged wife Catherine Zeta-Jones? What was he saying about Matt Damon's hands? And why isn't he allowed to see his son Cameron Douglas? Watch the speech below, then scroll down to get some answers.



Let's start with Damon, to whom Douglas said, "This was a two-hander, and Matt, you're only as good as your other hand. You were magnificent and the only reason I'm standing here is because of you. So you deserve half of this. You want the bottom or the top? Top, I figured that."

If you haven't seen Behind the Candelabra (see it, it's good!), Damon plays Scott Thorson, the ambitious young man who became Liberace's lover late in the entertainer's life. The film consists almost entirely of scenes between Damon and Douglas -- hence the term "two-hander," which means a play or film with two actors sharing the lead role. So no, it's not as naughty as it sounded! That "top or bottom" joke, though? Definitely as naughty as it sounded.

After thanking Damon, Douglas went on to thank "my wife Catherine, for her support." Which is interesting, because he and Zeta-Jones announced their separation in August. She didn't accompany him to the Emmys. But it sounds like Douglas is remaining optimistic about the future of his marriage.

"Everybody is fine. Nothing really more to say. We were just taking a little break," he told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet. "We're talking. I think everything will be fine and I'm very hopeful."

Finally, Douglas gave a "shout-out" to his oldest son Cameron, from his first marriage to Diandra Luker. "Hopefully they'll allow me to see him soon," said the actor. Cameron, 34, is currently serving a nine-and-a-half year prison sentence for drug possession. Michael told the press backstage that his son is in solitary confinement and forbidden from seeing his family.

“My son is in federal prison. He’s been a drug addict for a large part of his life," the actor explained. "Part of the punishments -- if you happen to have a slip, and this is for a prisoner who is nonviolent, as about a half-million of our drug-addicted prisoners are -- he's spent almost two years in solitary confinement. Right now I’ve been told that I can’t see him for two years. It’s been over a year now."

Douglas added that he's not the only father in this position, noting that "the United States represents five percent of the world's population, and we have 25 percent of the world's prisoners."

Seems like the Emmy win was a bittersweet victory for Michael Douglas. Nonetheless, his speech was one of the evening's highlights, and he deserved that statue. Well -- the bottom half, anyway.

Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+

WATCH: Douglas Talks Emmy Honor, Damon and Family Drama

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